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Eeek! Contractor just ruined my deck with solid stain!

17 years ago

Hi all,

Similar to Birgit's story in an earlier posting, I've had a contractor mess up my deck (with solid stain). I'd like to avoid having to do the entire deck in a solid stain that we never wanted in the first place! The good news is that I caught them partway through the job, so now I'd love some advice as to what to do next...

The background: The paint crew that just painted my house was to also pressure wash the deck and put a semi-transparent stain on the wood. We even showed them the Behr "redwood" stain we had used previously, but the owner said they would use a better quality Sherwin William product. The owner understood what we wanted, but apparently did not communicate it properly when he bought the stain (and he didn't check it himself, or with us before the workers started the application). Seems someone didn't know the difference between "REDWOOD" and RED WOOD -- what they were applying is an opaque stain in red (that is actually a horrible orangey color).

Before I knew it, the guys had applied it to the entire railing and supports, as well as about 15-20% of the main deck boards before I ran out and stopped them. I called the owner and he immediately agreed it was wrong -- he came back with some kind of Sherwin Williams stripper, and we can see the patch where he tried it (didn't work -- and he left without talking to us about it).

The owner took off with the can of the stain they were using, but we saw the word "solid" on it, so we believe it was Sherwin Williams acrylic solid stain.

***The questions:

-Is there anything that will get us back to the natural wood look we asked for? I've seen people here recommend Strip-x or sodium hydroxide strippers -- would that do the trick in this case?

-Would sanding work? Sanding all the railing supports wouldn't be possible (they have an intricate crossing pattern), but I think it would be possible to sand the horizontal "floor" boards.

-Related to the above question, if we can fix the floor boards only, would you get rid of the railings and start over by building new ones?

-Would you trust the bozo painters to do any of this? If not, how much would you "charge" them for messing up like this? We still have not given them their final payment for the job (which included the house), so we have $2,000 to "work" with.

Any and all other suggestions are welcome! Thanks!


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